Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Action Explorations

Introducing “Action Explorations”

I’ve written a great deal of psychodrama, which is a sort of therapeutic role playing. Now several approaches deliver this from several angles—sociodrama, drama therapy, applied improvisation, biblio-drama, the creative arts therapies (often insert some psychodrama), etc. Meanwhile, I’m turning increasingly away from therapeutic psychodrama and toward what I call “action explorations,” which has no […]

Is “Drama” a Bad Thing?

This is about the semantics of the word, drama. Its root is simply that which is done, enacted. My background in psychodrama makes this relevant, because of late I have begun to question the way the word drama has come to be understood. It seems to carry a meaning of excess, of histrionics. Recently I […]

Jung and Moreno

I’ve recently encountered a paper about Jung and Moreno, which reminded me of some books, and it got me thinking, as I am wont to do. Jung, whom Freud dis-missed as messing in the dark mud of occult-ism, plumbs the non-rational that suffuses the realm of the unconscious. (Dreams, for example!) Jung opens some doors, […]

Life Enlargement

We have in fact been enlarging our awareness of what’s happening through international news, the internet, astronomy, microscopy, imaging, travel writing, etc. Now I want to make a category for it! The idea that we can enlarge our lives through what was psychodrama—I call using the method for fun and not psycho-therapy “action explorations”—is here […]

Multiple Personality Order

Not dis-order; order. Or at least not chaos. I’m a Board-Certified Psychiatrist and there is a “condition” called Multiple Personality Disorder. I want to suggest there being a healthy form called multiple personality order, also known as healthy involvement in many things. People can indeed be very varied! The Utility of Consulting With Our Other […]

Open Letter on Action Explorations

I sent an email to a wide range of colleagues who might in turn disseminate it to their own wider networks of their colleagues. I am calling for a gentle unification )(at least in principle) of a variety of a variety of fields who participate in methods that combine: group processes that are collaborative rather […]

Paradigm Shifts and Action Explorations

This blog poet also might be titled “Psychodrama Beyond the Medical Model.” Psychodrama is mostly used as psychotherapy, but a sizable component does not require the medical model! While psychodrama as psychotherapy is being squeezed out by evidence-based medicine, let’s let Moreno’s work find new life as “creativity expansion” or “action explorations.” This opens to […]

Performance Studies

Those who are more skilled at dramatization know this: Adding  a little bit of performance, self-consciousness, exaggeration—just a tiny bit, but enough for you to notice!—enough to be impressive, subtly. This is very influential! People who know this intuitively recognize that a little bit of theatre is effective, But it must me subtle enough to […]

Playing With the World

“The world is so full of a number of things: I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings!” So wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, a 19th century author and poet, in his “Child’s Garden of Verses.” (Indeed, making things rhyme by having them “sound” the same became a basis for poetry, which shifts intellectual […]

Principles of Action Explorations

In a sense, this is a bit of a personal mission statement: I have been fortunate to encounter a goodly number of tools that I think can help humanity evolve in their consciousness. I plan to develop and promote these ideas and complexes of ideas, together and separately: 1. The goals of living become more […]

Psychodrama as a Root Form

Moreno’s method has been a major source for inspiration for drama therapy and a minor source for a number of related fields. For example, there is the Applied Improvisation Network (look it up)—mainly an organization formed by people who have been active in improvisational theatre. These folks have mainly been influenced by the work of […]

Psychodrama, Positive Psychology, etc.

Psychodrama offers a less specific type of positive psychology. The actual founder of PP is Martin Seligman, of course, but Seligman built on a number of previous workers. Barbara Fredrickson is another pioneer in PP. Neither bothers acknow-ledging Moreno, but I think Moreno (who created psychodrama) should be thought of as a pioneer also, whether […]

Re-Narrating Your Life

I wrote about this previously under the title, “Creating Your Living,” but that was not the best phrase. You don’t create what you do, but you create how you describe what you do, or did. Indeed, how you describe it makes it anywhere from tragic to annoying, from good enough to glorious. You’re playing with […]

Replacing “Psychodrama”with “Enhanced Simulations”

Although I’ve given part of my life to promoting Moreno’s psychodrama, I don’t really like the word itself.  “Psychodrama” as a word has several implications. It suggests drama, a word that originally mean something done, enacted, rather than talked about, but has come to mean something heavy, “dramatized” for effect, given visual and dialogue cues […]

Simulations for Planning

Of late I realize that I have transcended therapeutic role playing—psychodrama, drama therapy, etc.—and moved towards thinking that all of this is beyond therapy. It applies also in wrestling with the challenges of re-visioning new fields, re-visioning how to develop skills. I have left medicine, left psychiatry, left the whole medical model where some people […]

The Dramaturgical Model

I have been involved with psychodrama for 50 years and have written books about it. The idea of life-as-drama is intriguing. I have taught “psychological literacy” to senior adults and I realized another point about this: It’s time that practical psychology escapes from the clutches of academia! Practical psychology should be like reading and writing […]

The Mighty Power of the Subjunctive

I continue to think about why psychodrama works, and here’s my latest hypothesis: Humans have a developed neocortex which gives them the power to imagine “if”-type sentences. This in grammar is known as the subjunctive tense. (Linguistic analysis, including grammar, gives clues to different ways people think in using different languages.) Psychodrama brings into play […]

The Semantics of Psychodrama

I like psychodrama as a field, and also as a way of life. I’m working on an anthology of applications of the method beyond psychotherapy—title: Action Explorations. I don’t use psychodrama for these many applications, for the reasons mentioned below: First of all, I bow with respect to tradition: The word “psychodrama” and the creativity […]

Therapy or Education?

Some has been written, indeed, of thinking of therapy as re-education! It is curious that methods of consciousness-expansion can be applied as therapy or education. My next (and last) project is to broaden action techniques, psychodramatic meth-ods, enhanced simulations, beyond psycho-therapy. There are tens of thousands of articles about applications in therapy, but Moreno wrote […]

Two More Things About Enhanced Simulations

First, it’s another word for Action Explorations. Second, it’s axiodramatic and sociodramatic as well as psychodramatic. All these are more complex ways of re-examining political, ethical, and social norms as they evolve. What was if not righteous, then normative, become ethically dubious, challengeable, “evil.” This has been one angle on history. In this last century, […]

Ways of Growth

This anthology is matched by a website for others to write about their non-psychotherapeutic applications of psychodrama, drama therapy, applied improvisation, drama in education, Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, and other forms that overlap with the expressive arts therapies. It has occurred to me with increasing vividness that much that began as "therapy" need not […]

Why Action Explorations?

I have been viewing psychodrama from one abstract level higher, a category I call action  exploration, a name for a category that includes psychodrama, sociodrama, spontaneity training, warm-ups, bibliodrama, and also process drama in education, applied improvisation in business and organizations, and other activities. Although it partakes of a few drama elements such as story […]